Claudio Monteverdi

L’incoronazione di Poppea

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Opéra en un prologue et trois actes sur un livret de Giovanni Francesco Busenello
Créé en 1643 à Venise (Teatro San Giovanni e Paolo)

Direction musicale : Christophe Rousset
Mise en scène : Stephen Langridge
Scénographie et costumes : Alison Chitty
Lumières : Fabrice Kebour
Costumes : Philippe Giraudeau


Poppea : Anne-Catherine Gillet
Nerone : Marie-Nicole Lemieux
Ottavia : Alice Coote
Ottone : Delphine Galou
Seneca : Jean Teitgen
Drusilla : Judith van Wanroij
Arnalta : Mathias Vidal
Nutrice/Familiare I : Robert Getchell
Virtù/Damigella/Pallade : Catherine Trottman
Fortuna : Chantal Santon-Jeffery
Valletto : Lucia Martín-Cartón
Amore : Emilie Renard
Mercurio/Console I/Littore : Philippe Estèphe
Soldate I/Lucano/Familiare II/Tribuno I : Emiliano Gonzalez Toro
Soldate II/Liberto Capitano/Tribuno II : Manuel Nuñez Camelino
Famigliare III/Console II : Thibault de Damas

Les Talens Lyriques

Nouvelle coproduction Théâtre des Champs-Élysées – Théâtre du Capitole


Claudio Monteverdi gives to Venetian opera some of its most beautiful music with L’incoronazione di Poppea, his final work, an innovative and visionary composition.

First performed in 1642 at the Teatro San Giovanni e Paolo, it succeeds in giving a perfect balance between vocal emancipation and the requirements dictated by accompanied monody at the service of drama. The city of the Doges had only opened itself up to opera a few years earlier, with the inauguration of the Teatro San Cassiano in 1637. Claudio Monteverdi shapes a new musical language, fit to musically illustrate the complexity of human nature: a new balance is thus created, halfway between the recitar cantando (“narrate and sing”) from the beginning of the century and the delicate smoothness of the bel canto which was to come. He turns his back on mythology in favour of history, discards the world of Gods for that of men. Henceforth, far away from the out of the ordinary love of Orfeo and Euridice, of Ulysses and Penelope, the libretto by Viocanni Francesco Busenello – inspired by the Annals by Tacitus – throw humanity onto the stage and lay it bare. Political and love intrigues are mixed up together, uncovering in turns generosity of spirit and low morals, venturing into conflicts, jealousy, doubts and loving extasy. There is no doubt that by way of the final duo between Poppea and Nero « Pur ti miro, pur ti godo » (“I am looking at you, I want you”) voluptuous celebration of a guilty love, hymn to desire and to the body, can already be made out, a little like a watermark, the justification for the next three hundred years of opera.

© Les Talens Lyriques – Christopher Bayton